One of the clearest and most undeniable indications that you have a rat infestation on your property is the presence of rat poop. Like mice, rats leave their faeces behind in areas where they feed and will often leave a trail of droppings between their nests and their favourite spots. However, rat droppings are quite different from mouse droppings; they are larger, easier to spot, and more distinctive.
Mouse droppings are roughly the size of rice grains and are easy to miss, especially as mice often leave them on top of or in the back of cupboards. By comparison, rat droppings are considerably more obvious. They are much larger, often the size of an olive, if not bigger. When they’re fresh, rat droppings are dark and shiny. But as they age and dry out, they turn grey and dusty.
If you come across rat poop on your property, it’s essential that you clean it the right way. Rats spread numerous nasty pathogens via their faeces. If you disturb rat poop while cleaning it up, you could inadvertently send contaminated particles into the air. If you then breathe these in, you run the risk of inhaling a deadly virus. Pets and young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxins found in rat droppings. If you have any pets or young children living with them, keep them well away from any rat poop you find.
Before cleaning rat poop, ensure the area is well ventilated. Ideally, you should open a window and wait for an hour or two before you start cleaning. You should always wear a mask or face covering and gloves when cleaning rat poop away. If you have access to a mask with a HEPA-filter, this will offer the best protection possible. But any kind of face covering is better than attempting a cleanup without any protection at all.